You have to wonder: Did Casey’s efforts last year pay dividends this year? “We were just trying to build a defensive mindset. I thought we took a step back from that,” Casey said. “[We need] a culture of toughness, a culture of competing every night. I think [last year] has helped somewhat just because we could have continued to dig deeper and dug ourselves a bigger help, and we didn’t. We came out fighting. We kept competing.”
“It’s about focus, attention to detail, staying within the moment, staying in the next play, don’t get too excited if you hit a big shot,” said Casey after Toronto improved to 14-22. “Keep going every possession like you’ve done it before, and that’s what our guys did tonight.”
The Raptors played a much weaker team than themselves, and did exactly what they should have done, throttling the Charlotte Bobcats, 99 to 78. The Raptors held no mercy on the 9-26 ‘Cats, as they played hard until the final buzzer, and kept it entertaining the whole way through, with big dunks spread throughout the game.
Let’s run down the checklist: Crushed on the boards (21 offensive rebounds for Toronto); Gave up threes (12 of 27); Lost turnover battle (just 13 to 12, but still)
Bobcats/Raptors games have always been fun, historically. Lots of dunks, heroics, and hustle plays. Everything seemed to indicate this game would be better than a harmonica when you’re (I’m) drunk. I mean, the Bobcats had (before tonight) won 10 of their last 13 games against the Raptors. I was pretty darn excited for this game. Alas, it was anything but an entertaining game. In fact, it was the opposite. It was a brutal loss.
One positive that came out of Davis’ reduced minutes was an extended look at Quincy Acy, who actually logged over 18 minutes of action and first entered the game in the first quarter. Acy’s offence is still a major work in progress and he picked up four fouls in those 18 minutes, but his defence looks more than NBA-ready (his D against DeMarcus Cousins last Friday left me impressed as well) and his hustle on the glass could earn him more looks over the next little while. Quincy finished with six points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Having won on Wednesday against Philadelphia, the blueprint was there for a repeat on Friday night — “believe me I’ve been preaching for the last couple of days, we can’t have a let-down,” Casey said pre-game.
“Usually bigs are supposed to look out for bigs. When we get the ball we kind of look out for each other. If we have a post up, we’ll pass to each other, if not we’ll swing it to the guards and kind of set the pick and roll,” Johnson said Friday before the Raptors defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 99-78.
For a team that started the season 4-19, consistency is starting to show through the cracks. In a 99-78 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, the Raptors jumped ahead by 13 in the first quarter and didn’t look back. It was one of the few times this season where the team took control and didn’t relinquish it. Instead of letting up, the team chose to step on their opponent’s neck and the result was an easy victory.
The Toronto Raptors were coming off an impressive win in their last outing against the Philadelphia 76ers, and that was precisely what was bothering coach Dwane Casey as his team prepared to face the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
Then all of the Bronas bloggers fall on the floor in vigorous euphoria as Quincy Acy climbs that ladder and dunks over all 5 Charlotte Bobcats (warning: exaggeration) , which cracks a smile from stiff Lithuanian bar fighter Linas Kleiza. Only in Toronto.
Note: Links to me [email protected]